NEW FOR 2014:

– New colours: Brownstone Metallic, Ashen Grey
– New standard leather-wrapped steering wheel

Chevrolet’s Volt was one of the first plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to hit the market, and it’s currently the most popular electric vehicle, outselling all electric and plug-in hybrids combined. For 2014, there aren’t many changes other than two new colours, a standard leather-wrapped steering wheel and a substantial price cut. Chevy has slashed some $5,000 off the MSRP of the Volt, making it possible to buy one for less than $30,000 after tax credits have been applied.

Since its introduction in 2012, the Volt has continually been upgraded. Last year saw an increased range and the fitment of available active safety technology, as well as more standard equipment.

Unlike other plug-in hybrids such as the Ford Fusion Energi, the Volt always runs on electricity, initially supplied from a 110- or 220-volt outlet. Once the battery is depleted, a small 1.4-litre gasoline engine starts up and acts like a generator to produce electricity to power the electric motor. While the Volt must always run on electricity, it is capable of sending some mechanical torque from the gasoline engine to the wheels to supplement the electric motor when the battery is depleted and additional power is needed, such as when passing. The estimated range of its all-electric range is 61 km. Depending on how it’s driven, one can stretch as much as 80 km out of its battery pack.

Standard features include 17-inch aluminum wheels, 120-volt charge cord, charge cord theft alarm, remote starter, LED daytime running lights with automatic headlights, LED taillights, body-colour power heated mirrors with integrated turn signals, driver pedestrian warning, automatic climate control, cruise control, front and rear floor mats, 7.0-inch reconfigurable LCD display, trip computer, proximity key with push-button start, tilt/telescopic steering, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise control switches, garage door opener, power windows with driver auto-up/down and global auto-down, six-way manually adjustable driver and front passenger seats, premium cloth seating surfaces, 40/40 split-folding rear seat, six-speaker audio, auxiliary input jack, Bluetooth phone connectivity and media streaming, Chevrolet MyLink, satellite radio, and USB port.

Premium Trim Package adds leather upholstery with cloth accents and rear-storage armrest.

Enhanced Safety Package I adds rear parking sensors, reverse camera, and auto-dimming rear-view mirror.

Enhanced Safety Package II builds on Enhanced Safety Package I with front parking sensors, lane-departure warning, and forward collision warning.

Other key options include prepaid green energy power source, navigation, seven-speaker Bose audio system, rear window shade, rear armrest, and cargo-cabin separator.

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